Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!
This is also a Zombie World Tour post!
28 Days Later
A modern classic, this Zombie World Tour is a fond stop in Merrie Olde England, where like the Americans, zombies move as fast as they damn well please. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the creatures in the movie actually are zombies, and I saw Max Brooks in a lecture once get pretty scathing on the subject. It’s a question that each viewer should decide for themselves, and I feel like 28 Days gives us more than enough personal and social commentary to make it a worthy story even if you hate fast zombies, and I really like it as a zombie film, so there you go.
The basic story is that a young man wakes from a coma after 28 days (with an image straight out of The Quiet Earth). After pausing for a moment, the viewer follows Jim’s voyage into a world that went through the zombie apocalypse without him. He’s a little confused, but fortunately runs into some savvy people. One of them is Selena, who is one of the most kick ass women protagonists in a long time.
Everything in this movie is done exceedingly well. The characters are well drawn, the story is taut, the music is brilliant. The gore is necessary, believable and terribly sad every time, giving the whole movie a great feeling of tension. At one point, it’s so horrible to look at that I avert my eyes every time. The color palette even comes into play, with the movie being all yellows, browns and greys to help convey the near hopelessness of the situation, then going green and sky blue for a quick (wrenching) respite. One of my favorite Hitchcockian moments occurs in an underpass, where the filmmakers give you the old bomb under the table routine. Fast zombies, as with everything else in the world, is a fine tool if you use it right, and this sequence will make you clutch your throw pillow.
A particular gem is The Perfect Mall Sequence. Seriously, it’s short and wonderful –the best shout out to Dawn of the Dead ever. Shortly after that is a line of dialogue that makes me tear up every time – especially on subsequent viewings – much like when Allen says to Billy, “My king” in the movie Knightriders. *thumping my chest* Gets you RIGHT HERE. And it doesn’t matter what kind of genre you’re working in if you can inspire that kind of feeling. A bit of background art (half the size of my house, but whatever) that begins to show up and continues to appear is the statue of Laocoon. Once you’ve seen the film, look that statue up and you will say “Ah HA.”
Overall, I think this is a beautiful movie, showing the post-apocalyptic world as the Age of Rationalism, and I suggest you check it out.